Portrait from the Beckley Post Herald, October 25, 1973.
West Virginia State Senator Hatfield Carrington Brubeck joins a lengthy list of unusual "-field" based names that have been profiled here, and, in addition to his service in the state senate, was a candidate for U.S. Representative from West Virginia's 4th district in the 1972 Republican primary. A lifelong West Virginia resident, Hatfield C. "Zip" Brubeck was the son of James and Lucy (Temple) Brubeck and was born in Beckley on August 28, 1909.
A graduate of Marshall University in the class of 1931, Brubeck later studied at the West Virginia University College of Law for a short period. He married on December 29, 1937 to Louise Henry Lewis (1916-1981), to whom he was wed until his death. The couple would have two sons Hatfield Jr. (1939-1988) and Charles H. (1941-2013). Hatfield C. Brubeck Jr. would attain prominence in his own right, being a pilot, Vietnam veteran, and Lieutenant Colonel.
Hatfield C. Brubeck, from the 1931 Marshall University yearbook.
A restaurateur for over three decades, Hatfield "Zip" Brubeck was the owner and operator of the Ravencliff, a roadside restaurant located near Wayne, West Virginia. Familiarly known as "Zip's", this restaurant/tavern proved to be a popular destination for students studying at Marshall University and was owned by Brubeck until he died in 1973.
Hatfield Brubeck entered the political life of West Virginia in 1942 when he was an unsuccessful candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates from Wayne County. Eight years following that loss he took on the post of chairman of the Wayne County Republican Party, an office he continued to hold until 1954. In 1956 Brubeck announced his candidacy for the West Virginia State Senate, and in that year's general election defeated longtime incumbent Charles H. "Jackie" McKown (1907-1997) by a vote of 31,873 to 28,643.
Taking his seat at the start of the 1957 Senate session, Brubeck's time at the capitol proved to be short-lived, as he resigned from office that year due to non-payment of taxes. Brubeck would later acknowledge that he "went broke" after the Internal Revenue Service
"found that he was delinquent in payment of taxes over a 16-year period for a cabaret he operated, that the IRS attached his salary as a state senator in trying to obtain payment of a $96,000 claim against him."
In an article published in the April 9, 1972 Beckley Post-Herald, Brubeck admitted that he had not paid the tax "because he was unaware that he owed it", and that he later settled with the IRS, paying $34,000. Following his resignation from the Senate, Brubeck continued with his business interests and later became a real estate broker. Active in several fraternal groups in Wayne County, Brubeck was a Freemason and Knight Templar, as well as a member of the Shriners and Elks lodge.
From the Beckley Post Herald, April 9, 1972.
Brubeck reemerged on the political scene during the 1972 primary when he announced that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for Congressman from West Virginia's 4th district. His previous tax issues were brought up during the primary campaign and in the April 1972 Beckley Post Herald Brubeck remarked that if he were to receive the Republican nomination, he would propose
"liquidating useless and unproductive programs, concentrating on workable programs, and by eliminating the ''thousands of useless budgeted agencies...and the useless, even harmful programs no one has had the courage to halt.""Hatfield C. Brubeck was one of three candidates vying for the Republican nomination and on primary election day in May 1972 placed third, garnering 3, 322 votes to Joe Neal's winning total of 10, 749. Neal would go on to lose the general election to Democratic incumbent Kenneth W. Hechler (1914-2016), who triumphed with over 100,000 votes.
A year following his congressional defeat Hatfield Carrington Brubeck died at age 64 on October 23, 1973. He was survived by his wife and sons and following funeral arrangements was interred at the Spring Hill Cemetery in Charleston, West Virginia.